I've seen a lot of Mets games, but I've never seen a game end with a pick off. The New York Mets (45-35) defeated the Washington Nationals (34-45) by a final score of 5-3. The Mets even up the one game series at one game a piece with tonight's win. Jon Niese was fantastic tonight, striking out a career high eight batters, giving up just one run in seven innings of work. The Mets hit Luis Atilano hard again, chasing him after just 3.2 innings and tagging him for all five runs.
The Mets got out to an early lead once again. With one out Ruben Tejada was hit by a pitch, and moved to third base on a single by David Wright. Ike Davis then hit what should have been a double play, but the Cristian Guzman couldn't make the turn and could only get the out at second base. Tejada came in to score from third to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Defense has been something that has plagued the Nationals the entire season, and although there was no error given on the play because you can't assume a double play, it's things like that which leads to last place teams. Jason Bay then struck out to end the inning, leaving Wright at second… surprise, surprise…
In the fourth inning Wright started things off with a double. Davis and Bay then drew back-to-back walks to load the bases with no one out. Rod Barajas then popped up to center field and then Jeff Francoeur lined out to the short stop. It looked as though the Mets were going fail to cash in on a bases loaded, no one out opportunity. Alex Cora had different idea, as a crushed a bases clearing triple off the right field wall, giving the Mets a 4-0 lead. Niese then followed with a double down the left field line, bringing in Tejada from third to make it a 5-0 ballgame.
Niese had a shut out going into the seventh inning, but that changed when Josh Willingham hit a solo home run to left field to make it 5-1. Francoeur then made a nice shoe string catch against Ivan Rodriguez, and Niese got a fly out and a foul out to end the inning and his night. His final line: seven innings, allowed one run, on six hits, no walks and eight strike outs. Niese is now 5-0 with a 2.43 ERA since returning from the DL. His curveball was working well, keeping the hitters off balance, and it was setting up well for his cutter.
In the ninth inning things got interesting. Pedro Feliciano was brought in to face Adam Dunn, and he struck him out. Elmer Dessens then came into the game and walked the first batter he face. He then gave up a line drive out to left field, and then a double to Rodriguez. The Mets then brought in a Rodriguez of their own; Francisco. Of course Roger Bernadina singled, to drive in one run. Ian Dessmond then singled up to middle against Rodriguez, to drive in another run to make it 5-3, and put the tying on base. Now they had to deal with Mets' killer Willie Harris, who always finds a way to break Mets fans hearts. He worked the count full to 3-2, but then Rodriguez teamed up with Tejada to pick off Bernadina from second base to end the game, giving the Mets a 5-3 win. Tejada did an outstanding job job catching the ball and blocking the base with his foot, and applying the tag. There is some revenge against Mr. Bernadina, take that.
- Cora had three RBI in a game for the first time in three years.
- During an interview during the game with Kevin Burkhardt, Niese praised Barajas for his success. Niese didn't shake him off for the entire game.
- Wright went 3-5 on the night raising his average to .312.
- Jon Niese gets the honor tonight, going seven innings, giving up one run, on six hits, no walks, and striking out a career high eight. He also went 1-3 with an RBI double, helping his own cause.
- The Mets will look to take game three of this four game series as they send R.A. Dickey to take on Nationals' phenomenon Stephen Strasburg. Game time is set for 4:10 PM and will be aired on FOX.